I’m Calling for an Immediate Ban…


I’m calling for an immediate, but temporary, ban on all billionaires in this country.  They are our biggest threat to the American Way today.

I’ve decided that the arbitrary number of $610 million is enough for anybody to live on.  I’ve decided that if somebody cannot live on that amount of money for the rest of their life, they are not smart enough to be American.

I’ve decided that the worst Presidents we have had over the years were only who they were because of inherited wealth.  So inherited wealth is a threat to our very being and how we operate.  Inherited wealth is a bigger threat to society than any religion.

Although religions are pretty unhealthy too.

I’ve decided that if you need more than the arbitrary value I chose above, that you’re just collecting dollars and using the American system as a game in which collecting dollars determines the winner.  If you collect and don’t spend, you are not contributing to the health of the country.  Ultimately if people have lots of money they are taking that money out of the economy.

I’ve decided that in today’s climate, if you have more than my arbitrary value listed above, that you are more likely to try and buy politicians and negatively influence our bullshit democracy.  If it’s already bullshit and you’re trying to make it more bullshit, then you are a threat to our nation.

I’m trying to make America great again.  Over the last 40 years the greatest threat is the wealthy elite.  They undermine our laws and rig the system so that you and I cannot get a fair shake in this world.

They have decided they will never have enough and will never know what enough is.  They have decided it is okay to hold you down and keep you poor and in debt in order to make their collective ego larger.

They have decided that there are certain things that are only for the wealthy.  Good luck getting them.  Oh, you thought you should have higher education?  You think you should get a vacation?

Are you still waiting for your trickle?

Are you still waiting for it to stop landing in the pockets of those who already own everything?

Are you seeing deregulation as a method to help the wealthy get wealthier?

Are you asking yourself how the media can be the opposition party when they are owned by the wealthy elite?

So, stand with me.  Let’s abolish elitism.  Let’s abolish the ultra-wealthy class.  You will never be represented when these very wealthy people have so much control.

And isn’t that what this country was founded on?  Weren’t those the original protests?

Taxation without Representation.

Why the tea was thrown into the harbor.

So let’s fix this nation.

I’m fine with people being wealthy.

I’m not fine with being overly influential.  It’s damaging our entire system.

One more time.

I’m calling for the immediate ban on billionaires in the United States.  They are a threat to your very livelihood.

 

Think for Yourself, Question Authority


Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities — the political, the religious, the educational authorities — who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing — forming in our minds — their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself.
-Timothy Leary

I raised my kids on a couple simple ideas.  But I thought it was important.

Think for Yourself.

Question Authority.

These are important ideas.  I’m not pretending to have invented them.

I may have been influenced by a Tool song.  Or the words on that Tool song clicked with me.  The ideas presented by Timothy Leary

But I would tell my kids those ideas.  I would suggest that it is important.  Don’t take others’ ideas at blind faith.  Most people, especially in authority positions, are selling an idea for an advantage.

Honestly, this philosophy is a main reason I am atheist.  Let’s face it, I feel that most religious leaders are simply trying to gain power over a population with guilt.  Questioning their motivation is important.

People in power wish to stay in power.  That’s how it works.

We train our young a certain way in order to have control over their future.  This is truth.  If it wasn’t, religion wouldn’t be taught until one becomes old enough to truly fashion ideas that make sense to that person.

We are all different.

Those who argue we are all a blank slate destroy their own ambitions by filling their children full of fairy tales at such a young age.

But compare this philosophy to the world we live in, politically, right now.

You are only as young as the last time you changed your mind
-Timothy Leary

Let’s face it, if you’re holding on to ideas you felt as a youth, you are probably doing okay.

If you’ve moved on to ideas that many older people feel, then you need to take a good look at yourself.  Was it money?  Was it wealth?  Was it a discomfort for the youth?

Donald Trump changed.  He became old.  And he embraced a philosophy that doesn’t go well with a younger Donald Trump.

My grandfather did this.

Many people I’ve known did this.

I want to stay as young as Bernie Sanders for the entirety of my life.

Think for yourself.

Do not think as your brokers.  As your racist uncle.  As your wallet.

These are lessons never taught by most.  They are lessons left behind in order to hold people behind.

Our new President is trying to ensure you never think for yourself.

He’s trying to ensure you think like his donors and the ruling economic class.

So do us all a favor.

Fucking think.

And ask why those in high positions are trying to do what they are doing.  It will serve you well in the long run.

This is more than fifteen minutes of fame shit.

There’s actually strong philosophy behind all this.

Question.  Follow the money.  Ask why.

You’ll be a better person for it.

Restaurant Ideas for this Brave New World


I need to choose a restaurant for lunch this week.  I started wondering if some of the choices I would have enjoyed over years past will be available in the future.

Please realize this is satire, but, like all satire, I don’t really see this as something which could not happen.  Are we going to ban all restaurants from “Muslim countries?”  Will all Mexican restaurants be determined illegal?

At least unless they only serve taco bowls?

So, I have some ideas of Trump acceptable restaurants in this Brave New World we have entered.

Tweet in the Box– Here’s the concept.  My restaurant tweets what we will serve today and you buy it.  Like it or not.  All responses will be ignored.

Executive Order– Very similar, but different.  You come in, we order for you.  Vegetarian?  You get chicken pot pie.  Gun lover?  You get chicken pot pie.  We decide for you based on what we think is best for you.  You’re fucking welcome.

Ted and Donnie’s Cheeseface Factory– How do I not get Ted Cruz into this?  He was always trying to tag along with Trump’s lead.  The color of Trump’s face combined with the texture of Cruz’s face.  Let’s make this very clear, you will not like the food nor should you.  It is not good for you and will probably make you sick, but at least it’s patriotic.

Bigly– This restaurant is very similar to The Golden Arches except everything is gold and the food is still just as shitty for you.  But you’ll eat it anyway.  And it costs way more.

Fork and Pie– Pizza joint in which every piece comes with a fork.  Use it!

Alternative Facts– Feel free to browse our menu and what we say the caloric intake is of each meal.  If you order a chicken sandwich and get a hamburger that is 600 calories more than what the menu tells you.  Don’t know what to tell you.  We believe that is a chicken sandwich and that the caloric information we posted to be true.  It’s your fault if you don’t agree.

Prince Charming Bar and Grill– He knows what’s best for you, so only men can decide what women will be eating.  Men, of course, can order for themselves.

The Spicer Rack– I have no intention of lying to you.  That veggie burger is 100% angus beef.

The Press Pen– You must order your food from a small area in the back of the restaurant and hope that it gets delivered without getting spat on.

Beyond the Wall– For when you really want great Mexican food, you can enjoy a Taco Bowl, but made from only all American ingredients.  Oh, and that’s Mexican?

The Climate Change– You must register and get a punch card.  Each visit means a hotter (spicier) meal.  What are you whining about?  It’s not really hotter.  That’s a China propaganda piece.  Why only Kung Pao Chicken is served.

The Pipeline– You don’t want to eat here, but will run it through your living room anyway.  Might as well accept it.  Still runs through your living room and does not stop there.

Middle Class– Two menus.  Dollar meal with extremely small portions.  Or $100 steaks you get to eat in front of those eating the dollar meals.  Because nothing makes rich people feel better than showing off to the poor.

Finally.

The Orange Meathead– Hamburger joint with little substance, fattening, full of bread, and all buns get an orange tint to them (pumpkin spice).  You might think this looks like an appealing option, but you will be fiercely disappointed after you sink your teeth into it.

Inflammatory and Ridiculous


I think the one thing we can all agree on is that the new President of the United States made his name and living by being inflammatory.  Even ridiculous.  He had a catch phrase and was not much more than a reality TV star.

Somebody I work with was asking me questions about the new president and his wife the day after his inauguration.

Yes, she did pose nude.

Yes, he did cheat on his first wife with his second wife and he cheated on his second wife with his third wife.

Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about cheating on his wife.

How times have changed.

Bill Clinton also said he didn’t inhale.  I feel like today’s world would expect a different answer.  Marijuana is becoming acceptable.

So, Bill Maher is on Jimmy Kimmel the other day.  My wife records these episodes and was watching this one.

I cannot stand Bill Maher.  He is really no different than Donald Trump.  Bill Maher, and I’ve said this in the past, is a misogynist.  He runs the same show each week, and tries to get a rise out of people with inflammatory comments on the state of the world.

John Oliver is not different.  I actually cannot stand John Oliver more.  He is always saying, it is literally like fucking a kitten….

No, nothing he thinks is literally like is really literal.  He is a piece of shit ass hole trying to get a rise out of people.

And I don’t have a problem with that.  But I don’t want to watch it.

Because your president handled himself in this exact same way.  Is that what we’ve become?  A nation of ridiculous but excusable comments?

We need to treat each other better.

And we need to expect more.

And we need to expect a better dialogue.  We need to insist on real journalists.

We need something more from what passes as news.

Because I can see the path we are headed down.

Greed and deception and hyperbole.

Tune in and tune out your brain.  Because these people will tell you what to think and create a dialogue so divisive that you will never think for yourself again.

Please, demand a little more.

And stop putting money in these people’s bank accounts.

Alarming is not thoughtful.

Thoughtful is what we need.

We need real journalism.

Not reality television.

New rule: stop giving attention to hyperbolic heads who don’t really know what’s good and what not.  They are all simply trying to make themselves rich.

I’m looking at you Bill Maher.  You misogynist ass hole.  Constantly demeaning women and talking down to the world instead of opening for discussion is counterproductive.

And it’s working.

Let them all go.

Because the result is the President you have.

And he’s not a good answer.

But I’d vote for this guy…

 

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A Little Bit of Math


Inaugural balls are interesting for a man who said “grab ’em by the pussy.”

We are getting stupider in this country at this time.  And I’m not sure that we will ever fix it.  Interesting thing is that we have allowed the corporations to run the country and they don’t want the population to be smarter.

If I was running a country, I’d want people to be as smart as possible, and I’d be financing the future of my country.

This country has decided that good education is only for the wealthy so that they continue to dominate the wealth and opportunities.  I would want the smartest and most educated country one could buy.

Thomas Jefferson told the world that a Democracy should require an intelligent voting class.  At least an educated one.  We’ve dumbed the voters down for over 200 years.

I did a quick search.  Education receives 3% of the federal tax dollars.

Charter schools and private schools are better, but they are designed to keep affluent children at an advantage.

If the minimum wage is under a level in which people can live almost comfortably,  then they cannot afford an education that actually works better.  The lack of spending is designed only to keep poor people at a disadvantage.

Math is important.

Why do we spend so much on defense and not on education?

I missed the inauguration today.  I have what would be considered a middle class job.  It happens during both election day and inauguration day.  I think most of society has to work on these days.

Which might contribute to the fact that nearly 50% of the country did not vote in the General Election this cycle.

People have to work.  And their options were not good.  So they went home and had an alcoholic beverage.

Michael Moore was interviewed by Chris Hayes.  I’m watching this trying to get information about what happened today.  I’m disappointed.  In the whole broadcast.

Michael Moore.  I may be liberal.  Very liberal.  But I rarely agree with Michael Moore.

He did a rant in which he told Chris Hayes that Trump won with 46% of the vote but his approval rating is 38%.  Something like that.

Moore said, where did 8% of his support go?

Here’s the thing.  Half of the country did not vote!  I already said this.  So half of the country did not fucking approve of the political process nor believe that America’s democracy is legitimate.

Again, you did this.

Trump’s approval rating was low.

Clinton’s approval rating was low.

Both of them had high disapproval ratings.

Simple math.

You cannot compare the voting percentage to support percentage.  I don’t feel like drawing a Venn Diagram right now, but 46% of 50% is not a good number.

Apathy actually won the election and I think Apathy has a low approval rating.

Oh, and anybody who wants to talk about being from Michigan all the time and wear a 49ers cap.  Go away.

Also, I’m pretty sure 90% of the population thought Kellyanne Conway’s outfit today was ridiculous.

Then I read this.

One thing we’ve learned. We have by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.

Trump said this.  He may have been joking.  I don’t think so.

Because then 100% of his tweets are a joke.

IQ is a horrible metric.  I’ve read that Trump has a 150 IQ.  I think he was just given a small loan of one million and then an inheritance that allowed him to not have to truly work again.

This money from day one also gave Trump the opportunity to never have to interact with common people.

None of this is IQ.  It’s simply opportunity.

IQ would have to include poor people, because being born poor does not mean a person is dumb or is not capable.  It means that person was born without opportunity.  So the cabinet with the highest IQ will never happen because many don’t get the call when they send in their resume.  Only the wealthy get this chance.

IQ is also a poor measure.  As if intelligence is really measurable.  As if it is really a Normal Curve.

Intelligence is not normal.  Neither is emotion.

Unless you assume your audience is ignorant.

Then include a ten minute prayer.

Tell people you will rid them of radical Islamist terrorism.

Pretend you care about the people.

Use catch phrases.

Because, and here’s my last number, if you are not willing to spend money to educate people, there is a really good chance they will make a poor choice.

I’m going to say with 100% certainty that ignorance and disinformation are paramount to the situation we’ve put ourselves in.

Education.

Six years of schooling for lower middle class wages?

And now there aren’t enough text books to go around?

And college tuition has increased by 180%?

But the football team looks good.

And, let’s face it, 100% of the population seems to care more about winning a championship of some level than educating the the people.

We are a species, like it or not.  Understand it or not.  We are a species which should rely on and understand math.

We have big brains.

Use them.

Thoughts On The Presentation Of History


Today is January 19, 2017.

Tomorrow, January, 20, 2017, Donald Trump becomes president.

You did this to yourself, America.

This is less about that, and more about how history will present that.

Remember the dates, because that’s what the history books will ask for.

On which date did Trump ban all Muslims?

On which date did Trump sign into law that Mexicans are not eligible for entitlements?

On which date did Trump decide orange is not brown and therefore his skin color would be the darkest allowed by immigration?

Name the date when Trump tweeted something ridiculous (all dates are acceptable answers).

On which date was Trump impeached?

On what date did Mike Pence get sworn into office?

On what date did Mike Pence reverse Roe v. Wade?

When did Pence sign into law Christian Law?

This post isn’t about Trump or what I think Trump will do.  It really isn’t.  It’s about how we present history to the future.  We do it poorly.

I was always annoyed with history class because it meant memorizing every stupid fucking thing that happened.  It never meant understanding why it happened.  And that is exactly what we should be discussing with our youth.  But that leaves children too informed and and jaded.

Take the Soviet Revolution of 1917.  Do you think that most text books did much more than discuss what happened and most teachers did more than make you memorize dates and numbers?

One would learn more from Animal Farm than from the school system.  And this should bother you.

And that leads me to what I really want to write about.  The presentation of ideas.

Who controls the past now controls the future
Who controls the present now controls the past
Who controls the past now controls the future
Who controls the present now?

This was an election about change.  I’ve repeated that the left didn’t listen.  They decided to go against the will of the people.  And they will pay for it.

Do not ask me to memorize dates.

Do not ask me to memorize numbers.

This happened because the politicians decided that money was more important that people.  That corporations would make them rich.  That they didn’t care if this was a democracy.

This election happened because of over 30 years of trickle down.  And now we have a primary beneficiary of trickle down taking office.

What history should be teaching us is that when we repress the working class, they eventually rise up.

Let’s talk about Russia prior to 1917.

Let’s talk about working conditions in the United States prior to unions.

Let’s talk about the French Revolution.

We are where we are because of Neo-Liberals and Neo-Conservatives living next door to each other on the political spectrum and divisively being exactly the same to the working class.

Hiring a rich megalomaniac to the highest position in America.  That doesn’t solve anything.  Supporting a guy who has not paid taxes in decades with tax payer money is the funniest joke I have ever heard had it not become true.  And, I know, he is not accepting the Presidential wage, but we spend more than his wage on security every single day.

Besides, as an example of how one can screw over the working class, the guy who is not paying taxes has taken a job in the service sector supported by tax money to further make money in his private life.

For change, you have all succumbed to the biggest lie in the history of Western Civilization.

You didn’t even fall for it.  48% of the population simply stayed home.

The fall of the Roman Empire may have started this way.

Apathy and complacency.

Why history should be taught properly.

Because people who have once created great societies for themselves always destroy it.

And people who take advantage of societies generally get destroyed.

But they don’t care, because, let’s be real, the human brain is too large for our petty emotions.  We rarely do what’s right.  We, generally, do what will get us a better life today.

So memorize tomorrow’s date.

There will be more dates to memorize.

There will probably be a few laws that Trump will pass before he is impeached.

The fact is that the result of this has to be beneficial.  Remember how we got here.  Remember why.

Remember how corporations have been systematically taking control for so long and that is why your life is worse today than it should have been.

Stop excusing the guilty.

You did this to yourself, America.  And I’m afraid you’re not done.

Write your history better.  Accurately.

Warn your children.  Don’t bore them.

Be good to the future, and use history as the tool.

Ducks… Swimming to Keep Their Home from Freezing Over


I’m starting with a picture.

Because it is what I saw as I took my dog out to use the earth as a bathroom.

No toilet paper.

ducks

The pond behind my house has frozen over.  Except for a circle created by the ducks swimming in a frantic circle.  They have to do this every year.  They swim and swim in order to keep their entire home from being destroyed.  They pin themselves to a small piece of what they know and understand in the summer, spring, and fall.

But they struggle to not lose their homes and their habitat and their livelihood.

What made this picture worth trying to take is because it has been snowing all day.  Snowing enough to cover the ice that has been taking over these ducks home for the past month.  The snow served as a black light.

Let’s get all metaphorical.  Why not?  It’s what really made me take the picture.

I feel like one of these ducks.  Swimming in circles trying to simply stay warm.

You likely feel like one of those ducks too.

Picture the ice as the status quo.  Consider it the already wealthy.  The affluent.  The government.  The neo cons.  The neo libs.  The center.  Where Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton meet on the political chart.

The truth is all these groups are trying to push the ducks into a smaller circle.

Spin in circles little ducks.  Do not try to force progress.  Accept your position in life.

The ice will push further and further into your domesticated areas.

I hear Obama last night deliver a very well presented speech that was not only emotional but also inspiring.  It was a very good speech.

Just as he presented at the 2004 Democratic Convention.  Just as he campaigned in both 2008 and 2012.

He is great at speeches.  And ideas.  And getting people to vote.

And he sounded much more progressive, again, that he did when the election was actually happening.  He sounded much more Bernie than Hillary.  He has presented so many ideas over the years that simply didn’t happen.  He is great at speeches.

Swim in circles little duckies.

And simply decide on the opposite in order to allow the ice to encroach further into your lives.  You know it won’t keep the ice from getting closer.  You know it’s a bad decision.

But you make it anyway.  You make it because all you are doing is swimming in circles.  You’re too afraid to decide to go any other direction but in circles.  Because that’s all you know and you’re tired of it.

This is the way it goes.  When the ice starts to come and creeps upon your world, swim in circles.

Just hope it doesn’t take more of your world.

Wish.

Pray.

Go in circles.

And don’t change a fucking thing.

Trump does a press conference, but he already knows you’ve been swimming in circles and dissatisfied with your progress.  Worried about all your little ducklings.  He tells you crazy shit.

Over and over and over.  He’s been doing it for enough winters that you accept it as okay.

Actually, you buy it all.  All of it.

Meanwhile he’s making backroom deals and getting you to stop swimming in circles all together.

He’s taking more of your pond because you’re so goddamn taken aback by his craziness that you literally stop swimming.

Keep swimming ducks.  Keep flipping your webbed feet.

Go!

Because if you give up any more of the damn pond…

Did you know that before Reagan was controlling the weather, the ducks had half this fucking pond?

Sure there were some cold days, but the pond was more open.  The ducks could swim in more of it.

Disgruntled at your own decisions not to swim, the ducks have allowed themselves only a small portion.

And I don’t see it getting any better.  Distraction is king

So keep arguing on twitter.  Let’s see where that gets you.